Federal Judge Denies Donald Trump's Motion to Quash Subpoena for 1040 Tax Returns
For anyone else, the privilege is inviolate. For the President, not so much
May 25, 2019
Washington (dpa) - A federal judge on Monday ruled against President Donald Trump's legal team in its attempt to block a congressional committee's subpoena for years of the Trump Organization's financial records.
The judge refused to block the subpoena, which came last month from the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Representative Elijah Cummings, chairman of the committee, issued the subpoena to Mazars USA, the long-time accounting firm for the president and the Trump Organization.
Trump's legal team wanted the judge to declare the subpoena invalid, saying Congress is not entitled to investigate his past financial dealings for corruption. Mazars also said turning over the documents would violate its contract with Trump.
In his ruling Judge Amit P Mehta said although the case involves records concerning the private and business affairs of the president, Trump's lawyers did not raise a serious legal question on the merits of the case.
The judge said the risk of irreparable harm to the president did not outweigh the public interest. He also said the committee's claim that obtaining Trump's records would help it consider strengthening ethics laws and assist in monitoring the president's compliance with constitutional restrictions on receiving gifts from foreign entities were "valid legislative purposes."
Trump said the ruling was "totally the wrong decision" and said his legal team would appeal it.
Cummings issued the subpoena on April 22 to find out whether Trump has been accurate in his financial reporting. Based on testimony by Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, Trump misrepresented his net worth before becoming president.